Celebrating Diversity: The Women in Drupal Award 2023

Stefanie Bilen

Stefanie Bilen, the Director of Marketing and Communication at FFW Europe

The year was 2022. DrupalCon Prague was approaching. The DrupalCon Europe Advisory Board and FFW, a prominent player in the tech industry, have taken a commendable step towards addressing the gender imbalance in the tech sector by launching the Women in Drupal Award.

A stark reality drives this initiative: women occupy just 22% of tech jobs in Europe, highlighting the urgent need for change. The underrepresentation of women impedes diversity, hampers innovation, and exacerbates gender pay disparities. Furthermore, with Europe facing a looming shortage of tech professionals, tapping into the untapped potential of tech-savvy women becomes imperative.

Stefanie Bilen, the Director of Marketing and Communication at FFW Europe, rightly underscores that FFW's commitment to diversity, evident in their European team's 43% female composition, aligns with the proven benefits of mixed-gender groups in fostering creativity and innovation.

Inclusivity in the tech industry is a moral imperative and a tangible competitive advantage. Open-source projects like Drupal thrive on collaborative contributions, making women's perspectives indispensable in creating relevant and inclusive solutions.

The Women in Drupal Award has three categories: Define, Build, and Scale. That means there will be three awardees. It represents a significant stride towards inspiring and empowering women in the Drupal community. Beyond celebrating exceptional projects led by women, it sets a compelling example for the upcoming generations of women in the IT field.

Last year, the winners were Stella Power, Managing Director of Annertech in Define, Cristina Chumillas, Senior Front-end developer at Lullabot in Build, and Surabhi Gokte, the Community Manager at Srijan at the time in Scale. Surabhi is now Events Lead at Axelerant.

FFW, now in its second year of this initiative, cordially invites the Drupal community to nominate inspiring female role models before the September 5 deadline. That is just two days from today. The accolades will be presented at DrupalCon Lille, further amplifying the visibility of women in the tech sector, a pivotal step in addressing industry challenges and nurturing inclusivity.

The Women in Drupal Award 2023 jury has an esteemed panel, including past winners Stella Power, Cristina Chumillas, and Surabhi Gokte, and notable figures like Baddy Sonja Breidert, Co-founder and CEO of 1XINTERNET who had been the recipient of Aaron Winborn Award in 2022 and Kitt Ralkov, Head of Experience and HR at FFW. With their wealth of expertise, they will meticulously assess the nominees.

Open to nominations from anyone, this award recognises emerging talents at the outset of their careers. It's important to note that nominees must possess a profile on drupal.org to be considered. Notably, the Women in Drupal Award 2023 winners will have a unique opportunity to serve on the jury for the 2024 edition, reinforcing the commitment to empowering and celebrating women's contributions within the community.

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